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[sfrsa] Sorry, one more Stamp question

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  • dave
    Ok . . . when I order 1 Stamp II from Parallax, what do I get and what will I need to get started on this project: (requirements for this project) 5 outputs to
    Message 1 of 3 , Jan 15, 2000
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      Ok . . . when I order 1 Stamp II from Parallax, what do I get and what will I need to get started on this project: (requirements for this project)
      • 5 outputs to servos
      • 3 inputs from Modulated I.R. Detectors
      • and room for expansion.

      So my overall question: What do I do? =) I am slightly confused because I don't find the Parallax site very informative or clear. Correct me wherever I'm wrong, but to my understanding, the Stamp is just a chip, and in order to connect it to devices such as servos you need a PCB with a socket for the chip. On the PCB you need to have the correct pins of the chip connected to I/O sockets and some other pins connected to a seriel port. So just basically, when I get the chip what do I have to do to program it and connect it to my devices.
    • Toni Thompson
      Dave, you might try the RobotStore Web site for better information on the Basic stamp materials. In addition to very descriptive catalog entries, they have
      Message 2 of 3 , Jan 15, 2000
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        Dave, you might try the RobotStore Web site for better information on the Basic stamp materials. In addition to very descriptive catalog entries, they have excellent phone tech support and a discussion group on their web site that is monitored by the guys who build the stuff. They have books on Basic stuff as well. Do check out http://www.robotstore.com.
         
        Good luck!
        -----Original Message-----
        From: dave [mailto:thedaveness@...]
        Sent: Saturday, January 15, 2000 10:31 AM
        To: sfrsa@...
        Subject: [sfrsa] Sorry, one more Stamp question

        Ok . . . when I order 1 Stamp II from Parallax, what do I get and what will I need to get started on this project: (requirements for this project)
        • 5 outputs to servos
        • 3 inputs from Modulated I.R. Detectors
        • and room for expansion.

        So my overall question: What do I do? =) I am slightly confused because I don't find the Parallax site very informative or clear. Correct me wherever I'm wrong, but to my understanding, the Stamp is just a chip, and in order to connect it to devices such as servos you need a PCB with a socket for the chip. On the PCB you need to have the correct pins of the chip connected to I/O sockets and some other pins connected to a seriel port. So just basically, when I get the chip what do I have to do to program it and connect it to my devices.
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      • Jeanette Eya-Zeissig
        Dave - You sound like you are about at the stage I was at two years ago, so let me give you the benefit of my experience. The Basic Stamps are not a single
        Message 3 of 3 , Jan 17, 2000
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          Dave -

          You sound like you are about at the stage I was at two years ago, so let me
          give you the benefit of my experience. The Basic Stamps are not a single
          chip but a module consisting of microcontroller and an EEPROM memory chip
          mounted on a circuit board with input and output header pins and a few
          other components. For practical purposes, they can be considered to be a
          single component. Yes, they must be mated to an appropriate socket on
          another board both for programming from your PC and on your robot for
          performing their sensory and motor control functions once you have
          programmed them.

          The microcontrollers that form the heart of the module are the PIC 16C56
          (BS1) and the PIC16C57 (B52). Both are manufactured by Microchip
          Technologies, http://www.microchip.com/ and are small computers with their
          own program memories and are contained in a single chip. The main reason
          for the modular structure with the rest of the components in the Stamp
          module is to allow you to program the Stamp from your PC, writing your own
          instructions in BASIC. If you are inextricably wedded to BASIC, then the
          Stamps may be just the thing for you. But note, that you give up a lot
          (too much by my reckoning!) for the privilege of writing your code in BASIC.

          First, the whole Stamp ensemble is burdened with the task of BASIC
          interpretation, so while a Stamp can execute, 2000 (BS1) to 4000 (BS52)
          instructions per sec., an equivalent PIC16C5xx programmed with assembly
          language can easily run at 1,000,000 or more instructions/sec. (~250 times
          faster!).

          Second, many of us find the Microchip assembly language (there are only 35
          instructions in the entire instructional set) simpler and more intuitive
          than BASIC. I used the Easy PIC' N Book by David Benson from Square 1
          Publishing http://www.sq-1.com , together with the appropriate data sheets
          downloaded free from the Microchip website. I was also given the two
          volume application notes books for free at the Microchip booth at Wescon
          '97. These can also be downloaded free from the Microchip site. I found
          the Easy PIC'N book to be really helpful. Benson gives little diagrams on
          how to hook up LED's and other components to demonstrate the numerous code
          examples in the text.

          Third, there are many assembly and debugging programs (the programs that
          run on your PC in which you write and edit your code text, debug your code,
          and download it to the chip) available as freeware or shareware. MPASM,
          Microchip's own program, is available free from their website. I use Kevin
          Coble's excellent MacPIC, which is available as shareware from his website
          http://www.MacRobotics.com ($30 I think) and is a really professional,
          quality piece of work for you Macintosh aficionados. It includes a
          simulator that really rocks and supports a number of popular programmer
          boards. If you still want to program in higher level languages, there are
          a whole bunch of freeware and shareware programs for everything from Forth
          to FORTRAN.

          Fourth, you will need some kind of programmer board. There is Microchip's
          PICSTART. I think Parallax makes a board, NewFound Electronic's Warp 3 and
          Warp 17, The Francis Deck Kit board for Mac users (some of the others are
          also usable with Macs with adapter cables), and a whole bunch of kits and
          home-brew circuit designs available on the Internet.

          Fifth, which chip? I think without a doubt that the Microchip
          PIC16F84-04/P is the starting point for newbies like us. It has twice the
          memory and RAM of a BS2, and the price is right, at $4.25 - $6.50 a piece.
          Most important the flash program memory is electronically erasable. Note
          carefully that most of the microcontrollers you see listed are one time
          programmable (OTP) parts. This means that if you program a chip, and the
          results are not what you were hoping for, it's too late. The chip is junk.
          With the 16F84 or its predecessor the 16C84, you just wipe the flash or
          EEPROM and reprogram it. In MacPIC, you just click your mouse, and the
          disease Is gone in 30 sec. I assume any other good assembler program will
          do the same. Most of the other chips would require you to purchase the
          windowed version for 3 to 4 times the price of the OTP part. Then you have
          to have an ultraviolet light source and a lot if patience to erase the
          thing! Finally, the F84 is available everywhere: Digikey
          http://www.digikey.com, Jameco http://www.jameco.com , or the ultra lowball
          Peter Anderson (Morgan State) website http://www.phanderson.com/PIC/ .

          Finally, consider this: you can run your 5 servos (I assume hobby-type
          Futaba, etc.) from one (1) pin of an F84 with the addition of a 50ยข logic
          part (4017 CMOS decade counter). That would leave you 9 free pins
          configurable as inputs or outputs after subtracting the 3 for your IR
          sensors. I don't know if you could do this with a BS2 (without doing the
          math), but I don't think so. In any event, you have time to consider your
          options. If you have any questions concerning the issues I've brought up,
          please ask them. I've already got assembly code for all of the sensory and
          motor control problems that you mentioned which you or anyone else on the
          list can have gratis. As we all know, the devil is in the details, and
          I've skipped over a lot of detail The point is that we all get worn out
          re-inventing the wheel when the time is at hand to get out on the highway.

          John Zeissig






          <http://home.att.net/~jZeissig>

          <mailto:jZeissig@...>
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